India’s medal hopes crushed as IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics

India News Bulletin Desk

The International Olympic Committee’s decision to exclude wrestling from the “core sports list” in the 2020 Summer Olympics has crushed India’s medal hopes as two of the country's six London 2012 medals were in the wrestling category.

Sushil Kumar Solanki is India's wrestling champion
Image: wikimedia

India's ace wrestler Sushil Kumar Solanki won a silver medal in the wrestling freestyle (66kg) category while Yogeshwar Dutt won a bronze medal in Men’s wrestling freestyle (60kg) at London 2012.

Solanki also won a bronze in wrestling in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Previously, he has won three gold medals -- two at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in 2005 and 2007 and one at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The Indian Olympic Association had even picked Solanki as India’s official flag-bearer at the London Olympics opening ceremony  over athletes from other sports such as tennis, shooting and boxing.

On Tuesday, February 12, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed on the 25 sports for approval as the core sports for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Yougeshwar Dutt won a bronze medal for wrestling in London 2012 Olympics
Image: YouTube still

 The board recommended that wrestling, governed by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), not be included on the list of core sports.

The decision to drop wrestling from Olympics came after a review of all sports after the London Olympics. The board reviews each sport to make sure the Olympics remain “relevant to sports fans of all generations,” the IOC said.

Wrestling is one of the oldest Olympics sport dating back to 1896. India won its first Olympics medal in wrestling in 1952 with Khashabha Dadasaheb Jadhav bagging a bronze in the Men’s freestyle category.

In an interview to NDTV, Sushil Kumar said that he regretted that the sport has been scrapped but added that he is confident it will be included again.

Among the sports included in the core list for 2020 Games are athletics, rowing, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, weightlifting, handball, hockey, judo, swimming, modern pentathlon, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing and volleyball.

Wrestling now joins other seven shortlisted sports – baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu – vying for inclusion in 2020 Olympics as an additional sport.

In May, the executive board will select one of these eight sports for inclusion after a presentation from each of these sports’ ambassadors.

But as of now, wrestling is not included in the 125th Summer Olympics that will be held in September 2020 in Beunos Aires, Argentina.

India has won maximum number of Olympic medals in field hockey but wrestling ranks second in the total number of Olympics home medals.

Comments powered by Disqus